It is with shock and great sadness that Saai has learned of the untimely passing of Dr Vuyo Mahlati, President of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA).
Dr Vuyo Mahlati was an agricultural leader in a league of her own, who not only highlighted the plight and articulated the aspirations and dreams of black farmers in South Africa, but who also mainstreamed the interest of women farmers during a time when that space was occupied by no one else.
She brought legitimacy, urgency and policy content to the debates around smallholders and beneficiaries of land reform. The value she added to the discourse about agriculture amongst farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain, made South Africa a better place.
“She will be missed far beyond her own organisation. Saai wishes to express the condolences of family farmers across the country with the family, friends and colleagues of Dr Mahlati and with the members and leadership of AFASA. May she rest in peace,” says Dr Theo de Jager, Saai’s Chairperson of the Board of Directors.